"Does it matter in early spring if it's sugar cakes/bricks or syrup? My main concern is that the bees plug up the frames with syrup and queen quickly runs out of room to lay and therefore, swarms ensue... "
syrup jen, yah, your bees might plug up frames with it, but cakes and bricks will be hauled out the front door............crystal by crystal........
just monitor the hives so they aren't plugging up frames, add more room, give them foundation to draw.
and what scott said about feeding, temps? about 50 degrees.......for me. when i know i am going to be at least 50 dF during the day i start giving them syrup if they need it. nite temps......mmm we can get frizzly, but the bees still take it as long as we are at or about 50 df during the day. i put an extra deep on and insulate the bucket. seems to work for me.
if you have sugar cakes/bricks on, just grab them out, make up some syrup with them and use your quart jars on the front or insulated in an extra deep on top.